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Asus unveils 3G dual-SIM and LTE variants of Fonepad 7 at MWC 2014

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Asus announced two new variants of its refreshed Fonepad 7 voice-calling tablet at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. One variant features LTE connectivity, while the other is a dual-SIM variant with 3G+Wi-Fi connectivity. Asus however failed to announce the pricing and the availability of both the new Fonepad 7 variants.

Most of the specifications are the same between the new devices and the refreshed Fonepad 7 tablet, which featured a single-SIM card slot, and 3G+Wi-Fi connectivity.

Some of the key specifications of the next-generation Fonepad 7, launched in September 2013, include a 7-inch IPS LCD display with an 800×1280 pixel resolution, a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor with 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and 16GB of inbuilt storage.

Launched at MWC 2014, the Fonepad 7 LTE variant (ME372CL) supports 4G LTE networks, while the rest of its specifications identical to the refreshed Fonepad 7.

The second variant of the refreshed Asus Fonepad 7 launched at MWC 2014, is the ME175CG variant that features dual-SIM support apart from 3G+Wi-Fi connectivity, as reported by Phonearena. The 7-inch dual-SIM voice-calling tablet, unlike the 4G LTE and 3G+Wi-Fi single-SIM variants, houses a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2520 processor, with the rest of the specifications remaining the same.

The Taiwanese firm earlier in February expanded its PadFone smartphone-tablet hybrid line-up with the launch of PadFone Infinity Lite.

Much like its predecessor the Padfone Infinity, the PadFone Infinity Lite comes with a tablet docking station, which in this case features a 10.1-inch full-HD (720×1280) Super IPS display, which offers 224ppi pixel density. Like previous iterations, the smartphone fits into the tablet dock, powering the tablet with its hardware. The tablet dock packs a huge 5000mAh battery.

The PadFone Infinity Lite features a 5-inch full-HD (540 x 960 pixel) display which boasts a pixel density of 441ppi. Internally, the PadFone Infinity Lite packs a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor along with 2GB of RAM. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also includes a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

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Asus PadFone Infinity Lite smartphone-tablet hybrid with Snapdragon 600 launched

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Asus has expanded its PadFone smartphone-tablet hybrid line-up with the launch of PadFone Infinity Lite.

The company has announced the Asus PadFone Infinity Lite for the Taiwanese market, priced at 13,990 New Taiwan dollars, which translates to roughly Rs. 28,700, while the tablet dock costs an extra 7,000 New Taiwanese dollars (Rs. 14,000 approximately).

Asus has also revealed that the new smartphone-tablet hybrid will be available in Taiwan in March, though it has not detailed any plans for a global release of the Padfone Infinity Lite.

Much like its predecessor the Padfone Infinity, the PadFone Infinity Lite comes with a tablet docking station, which in this case features a 10.1-inch full-HD (720×1280) Super IPS display, which offers 224ppi pixel density. Like previous iterations, the smartphone fits into the tablet dock, powering the tablet with its hardware. The tablet dock packs a huge 5000mAh battery.

The Asus PadFone Infinity Lite runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box, which is a dated Android version and unfortunately, the company has not revealed any plans to roll out any software update for the device.

The PadFone Infinity Lite features a 5-inch full-HD (540×960 pixel) display which boasts a pixel density of 441ppi. Internally, the PadFone Infinity Lite packs a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor along with 2GB of RAM. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also includes a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The PadFone Infinity Lite comes with 32GB inbuilt storage, with no word on expandable storage. Connectivity options on the PadFone Infinity Lite include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS and 3G. The PadFone Infinity Lite smartphone packs a 2400mAh battery. Interestingly, the smartphone can be charged by docking into the station. The launch was first reported by a Chinese publication.

Earlier in January, Taiwanese computer electronics giant unveiled two new smartphone-tablet hybridsat CES 2014, a 4-inch Asus PadFone mini that fits into a 7-inch tablet dock, and the 5-inch Asus PadFone X that fits into a 9-inch tablet dock.

 

Asus Padfone mini 4.3 with quad-core Snapdragon 400, Android 4.3 launched

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After much speculation, Asus’ latest smartphone-tablet hybrid, the Padfone mini 4.3, is now official. Asus launched the Padfone mini 4.3 at an event in Taiwan. The device has been priced at 11,990 New Taiwanese dollars, which translates to roughly Rs. 25,000.

As of now, the Asus Padfone mini 4.3 will be available in Taiwan only, and there is no word on the availability of the latest Padfone in other regions. However, Engadget claims that the Padfone mini 4.3 is expected to be rolled out in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Russia, and Singapore.

The Asus Padfone mini 4.3, much like its predecessor the Padfone Infinity, comes with a tablet docking station, which in this case features a 7-inch HD (720×1280) Super IPS display. Like previous iterations, the smartphone fits into the tablet dock, powering the tablet with its hardware.

The Padfone mini 4.3 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box, and comes with dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) functionality, which makes it the first smartphone-tablet hybrid from Asus supporting dual-SIM.

It sports a 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) Super IPS display which boasts a pixel density of 256ppi. Internally, the Padfone mini 4.3 packs a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) processor along with 1GB of RAM. It sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also includes a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Padfone mini 4.3 comes with 16GB inbuilt storage and can be expanded up to 64GB with the help of microSD card. Connectivity options on the Padfone mini include WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS and 3G.

The Asus Padfone mini 4.3 smartphone packs a 1500mAh battery, while the 7-inch tablet dock equips a 2200mAh battery. Interestingly, the smartphone can be charged by docking into the station. The Asus Padfone mini 4.3 will be available in Black, Pink and White colour variants.

In September, Asus launched the refreshed version of the Padfone Infinity.

Asus Nexus 7 (2014) tablet, wearable device plans announced for next year

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Asus has been the manufacturer for Nexus 7 tablets, two year in a row. While the Nexus 7 (2014) tablet might be far from being a reality, the Taiwanese maker has revealed plans for the third generation Nexus 7 tablet.

Taipei Times in a report has revealed Asus’s plans for next year which includes wearable devices, next generation Nexus 7 tablet and more. The report quotes Asus’s CEO Jerry Shen saying that the company has plans to release wearable devices next year at Computex tech fair. However, Shen did not elaborate about the devices. Notably, a recent report had suggested that wearable technologies will see major leaps by next year.

Further, while talking about tablet shipments, Shen claimed that it might rise up to 13 million units if the company gets orders for the third-generation Nexus 7 tablet. Although, Shen confirmed that Asus is ‘still in talks’ about the Nexus 7 (2014) tablet.

In addition, the report notes that Asus has plans to launch new smartphones at CES in Las Vegas next year, and new Chromebook devices in Q2 2014. The Taiwanese maker is targeting students and teachers as potential consumers for its yet-to-be-announced new Chromebook models. The company has also revealed tentative prices of the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models to be $199 and $249 respectively.

We might be hearing news of the next Nexus tablet, however, the Nexus 7 (2013) model is yet to be announced for the Indian market. Recently, the Nexus 7 (2013) 32GB 3G LTE tablet was listed at Rs. 25,999 on the Indian Google Play store. The Play Store listing showed three Nexus 7 (2013) tablets lined-up for the Indian market, which included the 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi models along with a 32GB Wi-Fi + LTE model, though only the last had Indian pricing.

Asus Fonepad 7 voice-calling tablet launched

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Asus has launched the new version of its Fonepad 7 tablet in India for Rs. 17,499. The tablet, which also comes with voice calling support, will be available starting November. The new Fonepad 7 was initially announced in September at IFA 2013, Berlin.

The new Asus Fonepad 7 is powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor alongside 1GB of RAM but retains the same 7-inch 1280×800 display. It comes with dual-front speakers with Asus SonicMaster audio technology.

The new Fonepad 7 is 10.5mm thick and weighs 340g. It packs in a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera, and a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with a 100 continuous-shot ‘burst’ mode and 1080p full-HD video recording, which is a big improvement over its predecessor with the same name.

The new Asus voice-calling tablet comes with a 3950mAh battery that is rated at up to 28 hours of 3G talk time, 35 days of standby time and up to 10 hours of video playback.

Asus Fonepad 7 will be available in 16GB onboard storage options and a microSDHC card slot for expansion. The tablet comes with 5GB of Asus WebStorage free for lifetime as well the Asus WebStorage Office suite of apps.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and built-in 3G with HSPA+ mobile data with download speeds up to 42Mbps and uploads of 5.76Mbps. Fonepad 7 can also be used for voice calls using the built-in noise-cancelling digital microphone or an optional Bluetooth headset.

Asus Fonepad 7 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and comes with some custom apps like SuperNote app for drafting notes and the Floating App that helps users multi-task by giving them the option to open up to six apps simultaneously onscreen.

At its price, the Asus Fonepad 7 competes directly with the Micromax Canvas Tab P650 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211.

Nexus 10 successor spotted in purported press render

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A new leaked press render claims to reveal Google’s next-generation Nexus 10 tablet. The image has been posted by Phonearena, which claims that it received the images from an anonymous tipster.

The leaked render of the alleged Nexus 10 successor tablet shows a completely redesigned tablet, sporting a 10-inch display. The render reveals the front panel of the tablet, and it seems not to house any physical buttons. There are the usual three onscreen keys for back, home and recent apps below the screen. The homescreen also shows app icons for Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, message and camera.

In addition, the leaked image of next-generation Nexus 10 tablet shows the presence of a front-facing camera. Unfortunately, the leaked render does not reveal the rear panel of the tablet, and also does not shed much light on the expected specifications of the rumoured Nexus 10 tablet successor.

The first Nexus 10 tablet was manufactured by Samsung in collaboration with Google, however Asus has been rumoured to be the official manufacturer of the next Nexus 10 tablet. Recently, an image claiming to reveal the Asus Nexus 10 tablet’s product page was leaked, thanks to serial tipster, @evleaks.

The Nexus 10 tablet rumours come amidst a volley of next-generation Nexus smartphone rumours, a device that has become one of the most anticipated devices of the year.

Google’s next-generation Nexus, thought to be called the Nexus 5, made an online appearance thanks to the search engine giant. The Nexus 5 was accidentally listed on the Play Store, the company’s content, services and device marketplace. The listing appeared for select users and was pulled by Google after it realised it had made a faux pas.

The Play Store listing even revealed the pricing of the Nexus 5’s 16GB model, listing it at $349. The listing showcased the phone in all its glory, offering a good look at its form factor.

The numbers always lie: HTC, LG, and Asus all found to boost benchmark scores

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Samsung has made the news a couple times because the company has been caught artificially boosting benchmark scores on various devices, most recently with the Galaxy Note 3 which saw 20-50% increases in benchmark scores depending on the tests run. And now, more research from AnandTech is showing that almost no manufacturers are innocent in this practice, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

AnandTech has been looking through the data since July, and has concluded that benchmark gaming is a pretty common occurrence. In fact, the only devices that were found to not change CPU behavior when a benchmarking app is detected were Nexus devices and newer Motorola devices (most pre-Google Moto devices weren’t tested). The testing showed that at least one device from major manufacturers like HTC, LG, and Asus all push higher CPU frequencies in order to score better on benchmark tests.

So far, Samsung seems to be the only manufacturer that has also changed GPU frequencies in order to game benchmark tests, and not all tests are being gamed. AnandTech talks about the need for manufacturers to simply stop the entire practice of altering test results, but that idea seems unlikely to us. Manufacturers all want to gain advantages, even if the number of users who would care about said advantages is relatively small.

In reality, the most likely scenario is that benchmark makers and OEMs will continue to play cat-and-mouse. Benchmark makers will try to stay ahead of the optimizations, and OEMs will keep trying to gain artificial advantages. We can always try to rename every benchmark test, and get around the optimization whitelists. But really, the best option all around is just to stop putting all that much faith in the raw numbers (which were never that useful to begin with), and just look at real world performance.